Steps for Planting a Garden

If you've never planted a garden before, you may be under the impression that the process can be time consuming and complicated. Rest assured that is far from the reality. Regardless of whether you want to plant a vegetable garden or a flower garden, the steps are simple, and they're quite enjoyable too.

Select Plants

The types of plants you want to grow determine a lot about how and where you will grow them. You'll need to select plants that have similar light and water requirements if you plan to put them into the same garden bed. If your selection of plants has different growth and light requirements, you'll know you need to plan for more than one garden bed. If you plan to plant a vegetable garden for example, you know you'll need to select a location that gets lots of sun during the day. If you plan to plant shade loving plants on the other hand, then selecting a garden location under trees or on the North side of your home would be best. So selecting the types of plants you want to grow is one of the first steps to planting your garden.

Select Site

Selecting your garden site is the next step. Now that you know the plants you'll grow, you're able to choose the best garden location for them. Vegetable gardens require 5 to 6 hours or more of direct sunlight each day---so if you're planting a vegetable garden, select an open, sunny spot. Site selection is also important for organic gardening. Some types of vegetables or flowers will not grow well when placed too close to others. Growing tomatoes under walnut trees, for example, can cause them to get walnut wilt. Kohlrabi will stunt the growth of your tomatoes when planted too close together. Likewise, tomatoes will stunt the growth of carrots.

Prepare the Site

Once you have your planting site selected, the next step is to prepare the site for planting. The preparation of the site will vary based on the starting condition of it. If you select a garden planting site that's currently covered with grass, for example, you'll need to break the sod and remove all of the grass before turning the soil. Garden-site preparation involves removing all plant and debris material including weeds, existing plants or grass and rocks. Once that step is completed, you then need to loosen and turn the soil so your new plants are able to dig down into it with their roots. It's a good idea to enrich the soil by mixing in rich, organic matter or mature compost, because this adds vitamins and nutrition for your new plants plus it helps the garden bed retain moisture for optimum growth.

Plant

The last step to planting a garden is to put your new plants or seeds into the soil. How structured your planting system is depends upon how you'd like the garden to look in the end. Creating vegetable gardens is normally done by planting seeds or seedlings in rows so that water can flood into the lower-lying areas between rows and reach everything in the garden. If you're planting a wild flower garden, however, you'd want it to look more natural once the flowers start blooming---so you might choose to plant seeds and starter plants in a random fashion.

Keywords: garden planting steps, how to garden, starting a garden

About this Author

Kathy Burns-Millyard has been a Web designer, developer, Internet consultant, photographer and prolific professional writer since 1997. Specializing in business, technology, environmental and health topics, her work has appeared in "Wireless Week" magazine, "Entrepreneur" magazine, "Computer User" magazine, and in hundreds of publications around the Web.